‘Australia’s favourite playground’ delivers new heights for Gold Coast tourism

More and more families and high spenders are flocking to the Gold Coast, signally a new era in tourism marketing.

Let’s face it – we’re a tourism hotspot, but now we’re earning the brand ‘Australia’s playground’ thanks to our new marketing campaign.

New figures show more Australians are now considering visiting our marvellous little city.


Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista says a recent campaign survey found 55 per cent of respondents associated the Gold Coast with the term ‘Australia’s playground’, which is considered a direct result of a family-centric campaign.

“The first marketing campaign – ‘Australia’s favourite playground’ – resulted in an estimated $20 million in economic return for the city and a bumper Easter holiday period for operators.

“More recently, we re-doubled our efforts and launched a winter tourism push to ‘come and play’ in Australia’s favourite playground in key visitor source markets.

“That’s a total marketing investment of more than $5 million to drive visitation and spend for the Gold Coast by ensuring we remain top-of-mind for families year-round.

“The survey data clearly shows that we have been able to influence visitor consideration for the destination by capitalising on brand momentum to leverage emotional drivers that champion priority experiences and activities to highlight core strengths – our beaches, relaxing by the pool, casual dining options, theme parks and the spectacular hinterland.

“Those who recalled the campaign, particularly high-spenders travelling with children, were more likely to consider visiting the Gold Coast in the next six or 12 months,” Ms Battista said.

At the end of the latest campaign, 58 per cent of people surveyed indicated they’d flagged the Gold Coast for a holiday in the next two years.

It seems perceptions about the Gold Coast have also improved over the past six months as well.

Four in 10 who saw the recent campaign have an improved opinion of the Gold Coast as a holiday destination and consider it a more appealing destination overall.

More importantly, families were significantly affected with 57 per cent recording a positive change in perception.

The strength of the Gold Coast’s accommodation offering for families was also particularly evident in the campaign tracking research.

Accor Hotels reported a significant uplift of 43 percent year-on-year in leisure bookings throughout winter, having partnered with city’s peak tourism organisation.

Chief Operating Officer Pacific Simon McGrath says the company’s collaboration with Destination Gold Coast has allowed them to drive tourism during what was meant to be a ‘softer winter period’.

“It also gave us the opportunity to showcase our breadth of family-friendly accommodation options here, in particular the Gold Coast’s leading apartment brand – Mantra.

“The domestic family market represents a large, growing and high-value market segment for tourism operators on the Gold Coast and this campaign proved to be a great success for our Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree properties on the Gold Coast.

“It approached destination marketing with boundless imagination, strategically capitalising on the Gold Coast’s beaches, theme parks, entertainment and adventure offerings extremely well, which are all proven motivators for family tourism,” said Accor Chief Operating Officer Pacific Simon McGrath.

Accommodation figures for July, which encompassed the travel period for the winter tourism campaign, show the Gold Coast was able to maintain 75 per cent occupancy rates when compared to last year’s strong performance, off the back of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.